NOTE – This study used self report of “remembering to wash”. Is it possible that white men are simply more honest than the other groups? The study doesn’t explain why covid is hitting the other groups harder, if they are such paragons of handwashing.
Americans are washing their hands much more than they did before the coronavirus pandemic, according to new research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The groups less likely to adhere to that guidance were white people, men and people between the ages of 18 and 24, making young white men the picture of handwashing recalcitrance.
White men, including President Trump, have also led the resistance to mask wearing.
Long before the airborne nature of the coronavirus was understood, public health authorities were urging Americans to wash their hands, with the CDC and other agencies offering detailed seminars on how to do so properly. Some believe that public health authorities should have focused more on mask wearing than handwashing, given that the coronavirus does not spread as easily on surfaces as initially thought.
Still, handwashing is considered an essential aspect of good hygiene, whether a pandemic is raging or not.
The notion that men — in particular, white men — resist public health measures has been a point of discussion for much of the year. But the new study suggests that the nexus of youth, whiteness and masculinity is challenging when it comes to public-health directives.
“In both 2019 (pre-pandemic) and 2020 (during the pandemic), higher percentages of older adults, women, Black persons, and Hispanic persons REPORTED REMEMBERING to wash their hands in multiple situations than did young adults, men, and white adults,” the new study said.
“Because older adults, Black persons, and Hispanic persons have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19, engagement in preventive behaviors by these persons is particularly important.”